Finding Home

109 year old farm house

We’ve started out search for the perfect ten-plus acres for our homestead!  Yay, Pioneers! On the surface, this is fabulously exciting. Yet, in reality, it’s just plain exhausting.

Like any house hunt, there are a plethora of things to take into consideration. What is the shape of the roof?  What is the neighborhood like?  Are the schools any good?  How secure is the septic? On and on and on we go. Now add homesteading to the equation. What’s the soil like? Is the well pumping enough water per minute to give you confidence there is a vast underground supply? Is the land so reasonably priced because it’s smack in the middle of a flood zone? Head. Throbbing.

The elder generation of pioneers, Mosses and Poppy, have been out twice doing  a little reconnaissance. Their first stop took them to a mini-farm with 12-plus acres, 2 homes and more outbuildings than you can shake a stick at. What they found was that the only hope for the original 1910 ranch house was for a match to land on it. Moses and Poppy are not prima donna home buyers. They have bought their fair share of fixer-uppers and aren’t afraid of putting some elbow grease into the manse to make it a home. It helps that they both have a history in real estate. They are not rubes in the realm of relocation.

Round two took them to six different properties in a forty-five mile area. They came home looking like they’d been through a midnight bombing and six months in a prisoner of war camp. Moses walked through the front door and went straight to her bedroom where she slept for fifteen solid hours. Poppy gave us the scoop. The first 5 houses were not to be considered. Clearly the photos and info garnered on the farm website where we researched were a bit doctored. As in, no way did a 5′ x 2.5′ crawl space with no windows count as a bedroom. And while tell of a gorgeous barn, original to the farm, sounded ideal, in reality it was held up entirely by the blackberry bushes and poison oak that snaked its way through the weathered boards. One of the houses was still on oil heating from its origins. Two were so completely isolated from the world you could hear the dueling banjos on the breeze. One was so close to the main road that if you took too large a step leaving your front door, you were in jeopardy of getting run over by a passing manure spreader. The last property, he confessed, was either a maybe or they were just too beaten down by the others to know. We made a plan to take a family field trip to the “maybe.”

The “maybe” was located in a rural farming town that has a pretty good rep. There are fewer than a thousand souls in residence and probably a hundred times as many sheep. The terrain was breathtaking! Rolling hills, farm land, rivers, woods. All I could think of on the ride there was that I was on my way home, I knew it. When we pulled up to the property I experienced a feeling of reserved optimism. We hit the barn first. Loved it. Big enough for necessary storage but not so big as to overwhelm. On to the house. It was attractive from the outside but inside was like the seventies threw up all over the eighties. The space was great though. Over three thousand square feet with a very workable floor plan for our family of six. Wrap around porches on both levels that overlooked the woods expanded our outdoor living space. There was a nice wood stove and fireplace.

On to the outdoors! We knew that the forest acreage outnumbered the farming acreage but were surprised  to see how little 3 acres of cleared space really was. I would guess that in reality it was more like an acre an a half. Clearing the woods for planting would be a huge chore. Then the husband noticed the shake roof surrounded by large trees and shook his head. No way. Our last home in California was nearly consumed by the San Gabriel fires. Pass. The ride home left us shell-shocked.

Our lovely realtor further complicated our choices of towns by declaring one full of pot-heads (and that was just the town council), one was full of ex-cons, another had a meth problem and another still seemed to have a reputation for incest. Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me? One of the two towns she recommended had a school system that was below the state average, nixing that possibility. The town we are in has great rural area but not much for sale in the 10 acre arena and we are looking at twice the price for it. No longer living in California means that our income opportunities are not the same, therefore, paying a million dollar price tag to homestead seems a bit absurd.

Anyhoo, that’s the update from the Pioneer homestead hunt. We are taking a break for a couple weeks and trying to rebuild our intestinal fortitude to hit it again. All good vibes, prayers and happy energy you want to send our way is welcome!

When Barbie Chickens Come Home to Roost

Chicken poop on the patio

Hanging out on the poopio.

I recently reread my New Year’s resolutions and have come to a profound realization. That being, I will be lucky to accomplish all of my goals for this year by 2020. Apparently owning a Wonder Woman costume (don’t ask) isn’t the same as being Wonder Woman. Crap.

While pondering the list, we decided that the chicken vs. duck dilemma was the first one to take on. For obvious reasons, like we had a friend that offered us chickens. Sealing the deal was the gossip that ducks are filthy, filthy animals.

Our friend and guru Chris, from Celestial Farms in Jefferson, asked what my criteria for chickens was. I told him I wanted pretty birds that laid pretty eggs. After much laughter, he informed me that rugged pioneer women are not interested in pretty, just functional. To which I asked, “Why can’t they be both?”

The girls pondered for days what to name their new pets. Jimmy voted to name them after Scooby and the gang. They weren’t interested. I wanted to name them after my favorite chicken dishes, Picata, Parmasan, Paprikash etc. which worried them that I was planning on eating their pets. Then, one morning it came to them, Barbie Princesses! So we welcomed, Odette (Anna’s particular pet), Anika, Analise, Rapunzel and Erika to our household.

 

Odette

Odette, pecking at the window to see if Anna can come out and play.

We have come to love these darling, dumb birds. They entertain us endlessly with their theatrics. Nary is an egg laid that isn’t followed by the most outrageous noise you can imagine. The bock, bock, bock, bock, bagock!!! to let you know that once again they have produced a key ingredient in our diets. And in appreciation of their efforts we hand feed them table scraps and Cheerios. We let them free range around the backyard before the gardens went in, renaming the patio the poopio, for obvious reasons. Now that they are confined to their pen until we harvest, we have moved their home in order to triple the size of their wandering area.

Are our chickens spoiled, you ask? Of course, they are named after Barbie princesses and must be treated accordingly.

The Worst Pioneer, EVER!

wonderland

The last few days have gotten me to thinking about what the real pioneers had to deal with in order to survive. We are experiencing some uncommon weather for our neck of the woods and while I grew up in “real” weather, in the Mid-West, I have not had to deal with it in many, many years. Two days ago a foot of snow got dropped on us and while we were all, “Oh how pretty! I hope its good packing snow! and Who wants more hot chocolate?” the reality of the situation hit home today now that we are under a Severe Winter Storm Warning. This includes dire suggestions that you leave the house only in case of real emergency. This just in, the state does not consider running out of milk a real emergency. Luckily, we have plenty. It also includes predictions that we will be without power at some point for at least several hours as the ice starts to snap power lines and tree branches start coming down. Eek!

Pioneer Husband, Jimmy, is outside digging out our walk and driveway before the 15 or so inches of snow turns into solid ice. Good man. I , on the other hand, am running around higgledy-piggledy trying to prepare in all ways that seem important to me. These are the very things the real pioneers would have scoffed at and picked me as the first one for certain death.

1.  I have to vacuum if I won’t be able to do so for some undisclosed amount of time.

2. I feel strongly that we should all wash our hair and blow it dry because apparently dirty hair isn’t the way I want to spend the next day or two.

3. I just got done boiling 2 kinds of noodles and defrosting a big hunk of chili so that we can more easily heat dinner over a can of Sterno.

4. I’m not sure why, but I feel the need to clean the bath tub while I can still see the dirt. I am aware that this makes little to no sense.

5. I’m washing clothes that don’t really need washing. Why? I don’t want to be a dirty pioneer. Oxymoron much? Emphasis on the moron.

6. In addition to charging phones, which is smart, I am also charging the video camera and regular camera in case the perfect photo op presents itself while the power is out.

7. I am making a batch (make that a double batch) of chocolate chip cookies. Pioneer husband wonders why as we have a freezer full of baked goods. To which I answer, “They won’t be fresh, they won’t be warm!” Knowing full well that they won’t stay warm for long anyway, but I HAVE to do it.

8. I check up on the storm via the internet every ten minutes or so while I still have power. Of course the dire warnings stand and nothing changes but I feel the need to read and reread them ad nauseum.

9. I am letting the pioneer children watch WAY more tv than normal or even healthy by absorbing all the Madeleine they can stomach while I prepare for the worst.

10. In addition to all the idiotic things I’m doing, I’m also getting all the batteries and flashlights out, making a list of things Pioneer Husband needs to bring in from the shed (Advil, propane heater, popcorn…) and searching the house for a good book to read by candle light.

And the whole while I’m doing all this stuff, I’m well aware that the real pioneers would look at me like an alien species. That, my friends is why I’m a New Pioneer and not an old one. Wish us luck!

Pioneer Resolutions

happy new year!

There is nothing like the New Year to bring on feelings of failure (for previous unfulfilled resolutions), inadequacy and bionic determination to to change my wicked ways.

My Pioneer resolutions bear no resemblance what-so-ever to my promises of yore.  Not once since our exit from Los Angeles have I vowed to lose twenty pounds (although I could stand to lose more than that since my foray into middle-aged child bearing). Nor have I pledged to keep my eyebrows perfectly arched or my toes beautifully painted. Let’s face it, the important things have changed for me.

My only truly successful year was the year I vowed to drink more champagne. What a lovely year that was!

But I digress. Back to my 2014 Resolutions.Buckle your seat belts cause here they are.

1.   Finally figure out if we’re starting with ducks or chickens in the spring.

                    Chicken Pros                                              Chicken Cons

  • eats slugs and garden bugs                    potential death by neighborhood cats
  • pretty eggs (blue, green, brown)
  • rockin’ manure

           Duck Pro                                                          Duck Cons

  • eats slugs and garden bugs                    Do cats kill ducks?
  • bigger eggs                                                   I’m squeamish about eating duck eggs.
  • more nutritious eggs                                Will all that quacking drive me nuts?

2.   Goat poop, chicken poop, steer poop. Which is the best overall garden manure. Find a good source for it.

3.   Figure out whose right, the expert that tells you to move your tomatoes every year or the one who tells you to plant them in the same place year after year.

4.   Find out why our blueberries aren’t taking off like gangbusters. We’ve mixed special organic fertilizer for them , given then coffee and espresso grounds (fresh from Starbucks!) for the acid, watered them aplenty and praised them falsely. What more do they want, a Beethoven serenade?

5.   Dry our own herbs for year-long use; particularly parsley, basil, lavender and mint as they don’t winter over.

6.   Learn how to smoke bomb our fruit trees if threatened by frost. 2013’s sorry apple supply has made this information a must!

7.   Stop consuming artificial sweetener! I will most probably not succeed 100% here but I have to keep these damaging chemicals out of my children’s bodies. Please let this be motivation enough to 86 them from the house entirely.

8.   Fill the freezer with grass-fed organic beef and free-range chicken. And remember to defrost it in time for dinner.

9.   Learn to fish. This does not include baiting my own hook, taking the fish off the hook or cleaning the fish. This will include eating the fish, however.

10.  Camp. I went to camp for a week when I was in grade school . We slept in covered wagons on bunks but that is as close as I have ever gotten to real camping.

11.  Learn how to use the pressure canner. Follow up by canning ALL of the tomatoes from the garden. No more throwing them whole into the freezer.

12.  Pick more blueberries. 90 lbs. wasn’t enough so double it maybe?

13.  In addition to making our own dish soap, laundry soap, lip balm, body butters, and sugar scrubs (which we already do), learn how to make natural shampoo, conditioner and deodorant.

14.  Learn how to make our own apple cider vinegar–full of the mother!

15.  Utilize all of the dandelions in the yard. Harvest the young greens for salad, make wine, roast and grind the roots for a chicory-style coffee. Anything else, Bueller, Bueller?

16.  Bees–Bees-Bees–We have to start learning because we will have them. Maybe not until the homestead but why wait. Hopefully that will be next year. Think, pollination, honey, candles and lip balm all from one VERY endangered tiny creature. Miraculous!

17.  Grind our own grain. Make our own noodles and bread.

18.  Develop and make our own nutritious and delicious granola.

19.  Get serious with our medicinal garden. We started it in 2013 but didn’t harvest or use anything. Follow through!

20. Get the food dehydrator out of the garage and start dehydrating fruit. Learn how to make a solar dehydrator for greater quantities.

21.  Cook corn bread and stew over an open fire. I dare say this will be too much to do on my first camp out unless we camp in our own   back yard. Amendment to resolution #10: Camp out in the back yard.

22.  Lose thirty pounds.   Drink more champagne!

Happy New Year from The New Pioneers! We are looking forward to sharing our journey with you in 2014! Please don’t be shy if you have any advice for us– we need it.

Putting the Season to Bed

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Life is full of rewarding journeys. Yet nothing, short of the birth of my daughters, can quite match the feeling of putting seeds into the earth and watching them grow into the most beautiful, nutritious and abundant sustenance. From the tender shoots just poking through the soil to the ripe fruit hanging heavy on the vine, we celebrate every step of the way.

The little girls have scavenged all summer long with one or another of us in tow. Blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, snow peas, blackberries, apples, plums, lettuce, cucumbers and even green beans were eaten right in the garden. The only things not consumed on the spot were potatoes, rhubarb, zucchini and onions.

The fruits of our labor were eaten with relish and enjoyed by the whole family as well as many of our neighbors. What we didn’t grow, we picked at local farms. For us, this way of life is the true definition of living. Our children are learning right along with us.

All of the gardens have now been cleared. Seeds have been saved and plants have been composted. With Jimmy recovering form his most recent surgery, we’ve enlisted the help of our nephew and young neighbor (led by my seventy-four year old mother) over 260 gallons of goat manure have been shoveled, hauled and dug into our gardens in preparation for next year’s planting. Compost is being dug in this weekend and then the winter rains will do their work helping the soil absorb all of those lovely nutrients.

Life as a New Pioneer has left me feeling rich beyond measure and more blessed than ever.

I Hope You Like Jammin’ Too!

This summer I was overcome by a full on blitz of crazy jam energy. The family hit every farm within 10 miles of us (which is like 15) and we picked and picked and picked fruit until it was coming out of our ears. So ostensibly, if being sustainable means never having to buy jam again (and never saying we’re sorry about it), we’re there!

Here’s a little peek inside our pantry. This makes up just a fraction of what we put up.

Check out the cute little bows and charms. A nice little touch for a gift. To be totally sustainable I should have tied some decorative grass on it but hey, that’ll be another thing I only do when I absolutely have to.

This summer I made Peach Butter, Slovak Prune Butter (what can I say, it’s what my people eat), Apple Butter, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Spice Blueberry Jam, Raspberry Rhubarb Jam, Italian Plum Conserve, Blackberry Kiwi Ice Cream Topper, Mixed Berry Syrup, Pear Butter and Caramel Apple Jam. This fall I’ll add Pumpkin Butter and Concord Grape Jam.

One of the biggest hits was the Pear Butter! Check it out.

Pear Butter

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of Bartlett pears (unpeeled) cored and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 4 orange slices
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  1. Combine pears, wine and lemon juice in a heavy sauce pan. Cover and simmer until pears are soft, about 20-25 mins.
  2. Push through food mill or coarse sieve to remove skins. Transfer to food processor and puree.
  3. Return to heavy sauce pan and add remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase to med. heat and boil gently until mixture thickens and mounds on spoon. Stir often, this will take about 50 minutes.
  5. Discard fruit slices, cloves and vanilla bean.
  6. Spoon butter into hot canning jars, filling only to 1/4′ from the top. Wipe rim of the jar and place lid on. Seal tightly.
  7. Arrange jars in boiling water in your canning kettle so that at least 1″ of water covers the jars. Cover and process for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove jars from the pot and cool. If the top seals, they will last for 1 year in a cool dark place. If the lid pops up, refrigerate and use… or barter from some fresh meat that you won’t have to kill yourself!

Now if I can just throw myself into sheep shearing with the same enthusiasm I can learn how to spin yarn so I can knit some warm sweaters. Stay tuned.

24K Yum!

Carrots and onions

As promised the pics of our gardens are going to start rolling in. The raised bed closest to the center of the shed is our carrot and onion bed.

This year we’ve combined our carrots and onions in one raised bed. The thinking behind this companion planting is to naturally deter pests. We have concluded that for us, this has been a very successful combination! Nice big first crop with absolutely no pest problems. As you near the vicinity of the bed, the aroma of fresh onions is quite powerful and can only assume an excellent bug repellent.

Scarlet NAnte   yellostone     Red Core     onions

The three types of carrots that we’ve planted are Scarlett Nantes (nice mild flavor although a wee bit hairy), Yellowstone (kind of deformed looking as well as being the most prolific) and Red Core Chantenay (which are stalkier with broader shoulders),  In the same bed are red, white and yellow onions which need to mellow in the earth for awhile to sweeten their flavor.

There’s only so much mirepoix you can make for the freezer. What else can you possibly do with all those carrots, you ask? Buckle up kids, cause here’s a recipe for the ages!

carrot cake

24K Gold Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbl. ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
  • 4 cups of grated raw carrots
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, grated
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

1. In a large bowl, beat eggs, until foamy. Slowly add the oil.

2. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add to the egg mixture.

3. Mix in carrots, apple and nuts.

4. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9″ rounds cake pans. Bake approx. 25 minutes or until toothpick tester comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 10 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add in sugar, one cup at a time. Add vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
  2. After you frost the cake, press the toasted coconut around the sides for a truly delectable touch!

Throw a couple of these in the freezer for fall/winter consumption and you will be able to enjoy your homegrown carrots year round! They also make great cupcakes.

Where have you been?

Spartans
We’ve gotten some lovely inquiries as to where we have been lately; as in why aren’t we posting new articles. The answer to this question is simple. It’s summer and our garden work has increased exponentially. Seriously, it’s up at 6 ish with the littles and go, go, go from there. If it’s not yard work/wondering why the heck our beans aren’t growing yet, picking at locals farms/canning and preserving the abundance of our labors or working on our top secret project (more on that later), then it’s rushing off to the e.r. to have a crayon extracted from our two-year-olds sinus cavity. By the end of the day we are wondering whether we’re on foot or horseback. Exhausted much? Um, yeah.

As with all of our produce this year in Oregon, the blueberries arrived early and with a bang! Great, big, juicy, sweet Spartans had the savvy locals out in force picking like starved animals. Okay, that was just me. All the other folks are really quite friendly chatting each other up as they slowly fill their buckets. I appear to be the only truly competitive harvester, possibly hip-checking old ladies and tripping the physically able in order to as many blueberries away from them that I can. I explain this behavior as neurological disorder that presents itself as gluttony. As a start to my penance, I donated six garbage bags full of stuff to the Salvation Army with more good deeds to come (as berry season is far from over).

Added to our busy schedules are all the girls summer lessons. I’m wondering why I’m not wasting away with all this hard work, but then I remember eating my body weight in fresh berries. Oh well, at least I’ll live to be a hundred and seventy-two with the sheer volume of antioxidants that I’m filling my body with. The true definition of fat and happy.

I promise to start posting pics of our fabulous raised beds. The lettuce garden is beyond abundant and we are currently supplying our neighborhood with salad greens. The Spotted Trout Back seems to be a favorite (as disgusting as it sounds). The spinach is a huge disappointment so now we need to figure out why. It’s not the slugs or earwigs so could it possible be that spinach doesn’t like goat manure? We’re like Sherlock Holmes on the prairie.

Half the turnip crop rocked socks and the other half appeared to be eaten from within. The snow peas and blueberries are getting eaten almost before they make it inside. The tomatoes look very promising indeed and the rhubarb is going gangbusters. Sadly the apple tree will hardly produce anything this year as we had a frost after the apple blossoms has begun to bloom. The carrot and onion garden is looking great and the watermelon and pumpkins go in today.

We’ve come to realize that if we have to rely on our healing garden for medicinal help, we’re in trouble. We are truly novices in that arena and are hoping that all the preventative medicine will keep us out of trouble until we can figure our tinctures, brews and ointments. We continue to scour the countryside for teachers and will keep you posted on what we learn.

How’s that for an update? No time for our top-secret project now, the raspberries are in!

Life Close Up

self portrati

What I’ve learned about Homesteading is that sometimes it’s better to look at things close up. Close up you can enjoy the beauty of detail without constantly noticing all that still needs to be done around you. Close up, you can pretend that there aren’t garden hoses running willy nilly throughout waiting for the irrigation system to finally be tweaked. Close up you can focus on the perfection of creation that surrounds you. In that vein, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.

Here’s just a small taste of what life looks like for The New Pioneers –close up.

apple blossomThe first apple blossom. This one tree alone will keep us in Apple Pie, Apple Butter and Apple Jam until the next harvest.

blueberry

One of about eighteen blueberry bushes. If you look close, you can see the berries have begun to form.

parsley and toms

One of two beds dedicated to tomatoes. The Parsley reminds us of all the tomato sauce that we’ll can for fall/winter.

carrots and onions

The carrots and onions are flourishing.

turnips

Turnips are on fire!

What I haven’t shown you is the lettuce garden, already supplying our greens, the rhubarb, the peas, the plum trees, the pear trees, the other assorted veggies. This my friends is why you haven’t seen a recent post. Our cups runneth over!

And now for some random pretty that we have in bloom.

camillia

callalilly      hollyhock

lavender  iris seeanothis

purplw iris    Scottish Broom window boxes

Wishing you all the joy in the details and enough blurring around the edges that you overlook some of life’s messes!

Medicinal Gardening

medicinal garden

We all know the health benefits of eating organic foods. So now that our cold crops are in and starting to grow, we have decided that it’s time to plant our first real medicinal garden. Our regular herb garden contains many herbs that are not only delicious but also have many healing benefits. In our everyday run-of-the-mill herb garden we have rosemary, parsley, peppermint, lavender, sage, chives, oregano and thyme. We utilize it daily throughout the year.

Alas, our medicinal garden is going to take a bit more effort. We will need to harvest the herbs, dry some of them for teas and tinctures and turn others into topical lotions and oils. Roots and flowers are harvested at different times of year for different purposes. Our learning curve is steep with this one but we are excited to replace the contents of our medicine cabinets with natural fixes.

In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, we are saying goodbye to the front yard and turning it into a lawn-free zone. This is a hard one for me because quite honestly I love lawns. Beautifully cared for pristine yards are my thing, so going native, as they say, is a whopper of a change. Our medicinal garden is going to line the walkway to our front door, not only making for easy picking but also becoming a bit of a metaphor for our new lifestyle; Welcome to Our Healing Home.

We have 64 kinds of seeds for our garden, all non-hybrid and heirloom.  No way we can take all of it on at one so we’re starting with a few important ones for our family.

Including:

Stinging NettlePhoto by Greg Fewer

Stinging Nettle–Stinging nettle is great for thyroid regulation, bronchitis and bladder stones. We have also found it to be very useful with breathing related asthma difficulties. It can be made into a tea or tossed right in with your salad.

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Echinacea–In addition to being an all-around immune booster, a tincture can be made for mouth aliments such as gingivitis, canker sores, toothaches, tonsillitis, and sore throats. A lotion with Echinacea will help with sores, cuts, acne, hemorrhoids, and
psoriasis.  Use a tincture to help with internal infections like urinary tract infections, influenza, respiratory infections, snake or spider bites, and swollen lymph glands.

borage

Borage– Borage is a member of the comfrey family and is high in potassium, calcium and mineral acids. The leaf is used to strengthen adrenal function. Oil made from borage seed has the highest concentration of gamma linolenic acid and is very effectively used as an anti-inflammatory for chronic rheumatoid arthritis. The oil is also used for skin disorder like psoriasis and  eczema. It also greatly helps rehydrate sun-damaged and older skin.

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Feverfew– Feverfew has been used as a natural fever-reducer as well as for digestive disorders, headaches and arthritis. Parthenolide is naturally found in feverfew. As parthenolide has been shown to induce apoptosis in cancer cells, this is a particularly exciting addition to our garden.

milk thistle

Milk Thistle– Milk Thistle has a unique ability to protect the liver. It is, in fact, the only thing used to treat poisoning with Amanita mushrooms. It is used to treat adrenal disorders and psoriasis (by increasing bile flow.) It also has an estrogen-type effect which is useful for men with prostate cancer as well as helping stimulate breast milk.

yarrow

Yarrow– Yarrow can be used for a wide variety of things including use as an antiseptic. It improves digestion and helps to keep gallstones from forming. It is a natural and wonderful anti-inflammatory used for arthritis sufferers.

We’ll keep you posted on how we do and welcome any suggestions!